LDS Church files ‘friend of the court’ brief to help preserve traditional marriage

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The LDS Church files a "friend of the court" briefing with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in its fight to preserve Utah's Amendment 3, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Church is joining other religious organizations in the fight against same-sex marriage in Utah.

"It's perfectly appropriate for anyone interested in the case to file an amicus brief, whether it's organization or an individual," said Professor Clifford Rosky who teaches law at the University of Utah and is also the Board Chair for Equality Utah.

Rosky said in cases of high public interest like Amendment 3 it's not unusual for there to be dozens of amicus briefs filed both for and against the case.

"I disagree with the statements the church made within the brief," Rosky said.

The LDS Church joins the Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Southern Baptist convention, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the National Association of Evangelicals in filing as a "friend of the court" and they're not alone.

From the Family Research Council to the Sutherland Institute and 16 counties in Utah, there are dozens who have filed amicus briefs. The religious groups drafted a 42-page legal document, which outlines why they think the ruling overturning amendment 3, should be thrown out.

The brief says in part: "Our faith communities bear no ill will toward same-sex couples, but rather have marriage-affirming religious beliefs that merge with both practical experience and sociological fact to convince us that retaining the husband-wife marriage definition is essential.

"Marriage between a man and a woman is sanctioned by God as the right and best setting for bearing and raising children."

"In this case I think the brief largely restates many of the claims made by the state of Utah," Rosky said, who thought citing religious beliefs as a basis for appealing the decision to overturn Utah's law banning same sex marriage won't hold up in court, in his opinion anyway.

"You can't present religious doctrine in a court of law as a justification for Amendment 3. Even though people are entitled to express their religious beliefs about same-sex marriage obviously a court won't be able to uphold Amendment 3 based on religious beliefs," Rosky said.

A group of Utah lawmakers who backed Amendment 3 are also filing an amicus brief.  Gay rights groups like Equality Utah are in the process of filing its own amicus brief. They have until March 4.


  • Eric Anderson

    As is their First Amendment right.

    Funny how people only like the Bill of Rights when it’s used to further their own cause.

    The Church as every right to express an opinion. That’s what a “friend of the court brief” is: An opinion from concerned citizens.

    Get over it.

    • Peter Bob Clampett

      Oh, Eric Andie, there you go again, you funny man. Those short circuited neural transmissions fail you.

      Now the LDS church is using their 1st Amendment rights in their effort to subvert the 14th Amendment.

      Once again they are on the wrong side of history.

      • R Kenned

        Read the 14th amendment and show me where marriage is a right for all citizens. Marriage is a privilege when certain requirements are met and is not a right. otherwise my two husbands, and six wives could marry their dads and the neighbors 8 year old. Just being as absurd as your argument.

  • RyNo

    LDS Church needs to move away and allow Utah to become a normal state… Maybe they all should move to an island where they can marry multiple wives and try to find more magical books to read with magical glasses…

    • R Kenned

      Mormons were here first. Long before Utah became a territory or State. How bout the rest of you pack up and leave?

    • R Kenned

      Marriage was ordained of God, not government. It is Government that needs not stick its head into where it belongs not.

  • R Kenned

    The voice of the people of Utah was clear on this vote. Are we no longer a republic? I guess as long as you get the votes you don’t get the victory in the minds of the open minded leftists.

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